These days, it’s hard to know if the economy is coming or going, and whether it makes sense to staff up or trim down your workforce. And given that the labor market still remains a relatively tight one – especially for the best and most specialized talent – most companies are navigating complex (and perhaps even contradictory) forces that further complicate those decisions. Yet with so many employers fishing for talent from a shallow pool of elite candidates, how does a company go about attracting the best contractors?
One of the best strategies for managing these circumstances is engaging with contingent labor, which allows a company to hire proven talent quickly, while also providing the flexibility needed to handle short-term projects and more nimbly reshape a workforce, if and when necessary. Contractors also expand the pool of candidates available to a business, and they often are better equipped than permanent hires to be onboarded quickly and hit the ground running. Contingent labor helps address a lot of the challenges companies currently face.
A Test Case: Hospitality
The fallout from the pandemic – including, but not limited to, a roller coaster economy and job market – have had a dramatic effect on most sectors of business. No industry, however, has had to weather the storm quite like hospitality. Not only did COVID restrictions and travel fears decimate the customer bases of hotels and related businesses across the country, but they also forced many of these organizations to completely rethink fundamental elements such as their service models, digital transformation and, of course, staffing.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution, nor any once-and-for-all answers, that will “settle” the hospitality sector. By nature, the business is seasonal, cyclical and ever-changing. Which is all the more reason why many hotels have leaned into contingent labor in recent years, and why some are exploring even more radical, related moves – such as gig-based housekeeping services, modeled after Uber or Postmates.
Yet even in areas of the hospitality space that are somewhat more predictable, or at least slower-moving, contractors offer benefits that can’t be ignored. There is demand in the sector for IT support, but single hotels and smaller chains may have fewer resources and less flexibility to hire a full-time staff to address that demand. Based on the type of work involved (finite duration projects, often requiring specialized skills), even larger businesses in the industry would likely find their IT needs more affordably and intelligently met using contingent labor. So attracting the best contractors is important in this use case.
Methodology for Attracting the Best Contractors
The goals and incentives of contractors aren’t necessarily all that different from those of full-time employees. Most workers want fair pay, a positive work environment and a purpose-driven mission to get behind. Where contingent laborers diverge most from staffers is their desire for flexibility – whether that comes in the form of schedule, work location or job duties. Delivering in those areas will give a company its best chance of winning over top contract talent.
But a business first must find and connect with those contractors. To forge those connections, the company needs either a well-established network or a deep bench of hiring professionals ready to scour the contingent labor market – and, realistically, it would need both. Even for organizations that wouldn’t find that approach to be cost-prohibitive, a third-party vendor may make the most sense for developing a contractor network and workforce.
Staffing agencies specialize in the hiring process, and talent clouds – such as PeopleCaddie – take it a step further by utilizing technology to build and maintain close relationships with curated networks of contractors to help clients find the right candidates as quickly as possible. By partnering with a talent cloud that has a good reputation, starting early in your search to fill known needs (example: an annual auditor) and asking back the best, most trusted contractors, an organization positions itself to nail those hard-to-fill roles and assemble an all-star team of contingent laborers. PeopleCaddie has the technology platform and customer-focused model to help you build that team and consistently win at the hyper-competitive contract talent game.
PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud is home to some of the best contract talents across a number of sectors. Find out how by clicking here.